Presented by

Around the AFC North: Joe Mixon's Restructured Deal Keeps Him in Cincinnati

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) runs against Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Trent McDuffie (21) during the second half of the NFL AFC Championship playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo.

Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Mixon Reworks His Deal to Remain With Bengals for Seventh Season

Joe Mixon will remain the Bengals' lead running back for at least another season after agreeing to a restructured contract last week.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Mixon took a $4.39 million pay cut in 2023 and will earn $5.51 million, although he can make an extra $2 million in incentives. Mixon was originally due to make $10.1 million, but the Bengals were going to release him unless he agreed to a more cap-friendly number.

The NFL running back market has been soft, and veterans still available include Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Fournette and Kareem Hunt. By avoiding free agency, Mixon can remain in Cincinnati for a seventh season and help the Bengals chase a championship. While Mixon's production slipped to 814 yards while averaging 3.9 yards per carry, he has produced three 1,000-yard seasons and caught a career-high 60 passes in 2022.

"Joe's goal is to win a Super Bowl and play his career in Cincinnati and this is the best way to accomplish these goals," Mixon's agent Peter Shaffer told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Cleveland Browns: Deshaun Watson Says Chemistry Will Be 'Tight" With Amari Cooper

Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is making up for lost time with No. 1 receiver Amari Cooper.

Watson served an 11-game suspension to start the 2022 season, which delayed his bonding process with Cooper. When Watson had offseason throwing sessions in Houston and took several teammates to Puerto Rico, Cooper couldn't participate because he was still recovering from his February core muscle surgery.

However, Watson and Cooper were on the same page during mandatory minicamp in June, and they've continued working out together over the past several weeks.

Watson believes Cooper can surpass last season's production when he led the Browns with 78 catches for 1,160 yards and nine touchdowns.

"Amari's going to be good," Watson said via Ashley Bastock of "He's a guy that's a vet, been in the league for a while, so he knows exactly what he needs to do to be ready for the season and training camp and our chemistry is going to be tight. We've been hanging out, we just going to continue to build that chemistry as much as possible."

Pittsburgh Steelers: Allen Robinson Is Impressed by Kenny Pickett's Command of Offense

No longer a rookie, Kenny Pickett will be expected to take another step forward in Year 2 as the Steelers' starting quarterback. Veteran receiver Allen Robinson, who was signed to give Pickett another experienced target, likes what he's seen during the offseason.

"Coming in seeing Kenny now going into his second season, the command that he has for a second-year player is awesome," Robinson said via SiriusXM NFL Network. "I personally feel like you don't get a chance to see guys that young with a command that strong as far as leading us, getting guys together, throwing after watching film. It's been fun to see and it's been fun to be a part of."

Pickett won five of his last six starts in 2022, but threw for over 200 yards just once during that stretch. Pittsburgh is expected to give Pickett more leeway in the passing game in 2023, and his teammates believe he's ready for it.

"We have talent across the board on the offensive side of the ball," Steelers cornerback Patrick Peterson said on the “The Jim Rome Show via Pro Football Talk.” "You added Allen Robinson, you got Diontae Johnson, you got George Pickens, you got Najee [Harris]. You know it's all going to come down to how well Kenny can play and can he put the ball where it needs to go. I believe he is a guy that we can rely on, a guy that we can count on. Now it's all going to fall on him if he can go out there and show us what he's capable of doing."

Related Content